Guard tandem Amalia, Aulbach helps guide Blackhawk girls to unbeaten record
By: Drew Karpen
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 9:54 PM
Mady Aulbach and Mackenzie Amalia aren’t twins, but their chemistry tells a different story.
The dynamic duo has led Blackhawk to a perfect 10-0 record and 4-0 mark in Section 2-4A to start the season.
The No. 2-ranked Cougars have had their share of talent throughout the years, but in terms of a pair of players leading the team, none top Aulbach and Amalia.
“I can say they are the best one-two punches I have had,” Blackhawk coach Steve Lodovico said. “I can say that without hesitation, and I have had some good guards.
“Their chemistry on the floor together has improved so much together. They know what each other is going to do before they even know. They are both great leaders, and that is one of the big reasons why we had success early on.”
The scary part is that opposing teams will have to deal with them for another year together. Aulbach is a junior and Amalia is a sophomore. Both are Division I recruits; Aulbach is already committed to Youngstown State. Amalia received her first offer from Duquesne as a seventh grader.
Although both can be considered in the baby stages of their basketball careers, the duo has been making music on the court for a long time. They teamed up for the first time when Amalia was in third grade and Aulbach in fourth, playing on the same AAU teams under their dads.
From there, the inseparable bond on and off the court only grew. With their connection, they always believe they will be one step ahead of the defenders.
“We know each other’s moves and what we are going to do,” Amalia said. “We know exactly what we are going to do, and it is hard for the other teams to defend.
“I love playing with Mady. We have played together for a long time. We just try to set each other up. We work on getting each other open looks.”
The feeling was mutual for Aulbach.
“Honestly, it is really awesome,” she said about playing with Amalia. “It is great to work with someone who works just as hard as I do. We know each other’s next moves.
“She is a really good reader on offense and defense. I am an on-the-ball defender, and she does a great job defending off the ball to force the turnover. She can read exactly where the pass is going to be to pick it off.”
Amalia is leading the team in scoring, averaging 18.5 points through the first nine games. Aulbach is right behind her, averaging 17.5. Between them, and the rest of the weapons on their team, the Cougars believe they have the perfect formula to get back to the WPIAL championship game and come out on top this year. They lost to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 65-36, last season.
“We definitely want to get back to the WPIAL championship, and we have a good chance of winning it this year,” Amalia said. “We have a very deep team and everyone knows their role.”
“Our big goal is to make it back to the WPIAL championship,” Aulbach said. “We have a great team this year and we want to win for each other.”
Even their thoughts are in sync.
Drew Karpen is a freelance writer.